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Having a child is a beautiful and rewarding experience, but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying. A vast array of subtle and possibly harmful diseases or disorders can affect our infants. Rather than becoming alarmed or overprotective, though, parents should simply try to stay well informed about risk factors and remain vigilant for any possible symptoms. One specific disorder, hypotonic cerebral palsy, which is an indicator of harm to the cerebellum, exhibits symptoms that are recognizable at home.

The most dramatic sign of infant cerebral palsy is something called ‘floppy doll syndrome.’ The name says it all: babies appear like rag dolls, unable to support themselves and often succumbing to the force of gravity. Normally, babies offer resistance when you pull on their hands or feet. Cerebral palsy infants simply go along with the motion. Unaffected infants will often rest with their knees and elbows flexed; affected babies with relax with their limbs outstretched completely. Additionally, cerebral palsy infants may have trouble crawling, controlling their head, chewing, sucking, and, in especially dire cases, even breathing.

Cerebral palsy need not signify a life of hardship for an infant. Helping your child gain control of his or her body will be a tiring and sometimes seemingly hopeless experience, but it will help them in the future. As I said before, just remain watchful and consult a doctor if you have any concerns; an early diagnosis always helps.

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